Rosetta spacecraft meets asteroid Steins

August 25, 2008
On its way to comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Rosetta is targeting two asteroids for study: (2867) Steins, on 5 September 2008, and (21) Lutetia on 10 June 2010. Credits: ESA TV

ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will make a historic encounter with asteroid (2867) Steins on 5 September 2008.

First images and results will be available during a press conference which will be held at ESOC the following day, Saturday 6 September at 12:00 CEST.

Steins is Rosetta’s first nominal scientific target. The spacecraft will rendezvous with the asteroid in the course of its first incursion into the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, while on its way to comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The study of asteroids is extremely important as they represent a sample of Solar System material at different stages of evolution – key to understanding the origin of our own planet and of our planetary neighbourhood.

The closest approach to Steins is due to take place on 5 September at 20:58 CEST (Central European Summer Time), from a distance of 800 km, during which the spacecraft will not be communicating with Earth.

First ground contact with the spacecraft and announcement of successful fly-by will take place at 22:23 CEST. The first data and images collected by Rosetta will be sent to Earth throughout the night of 5 to 6 September and will undergo preliminary processing in the morning of 6 September.

Provided by ESA

Explore further: Perfect sight: Rosetta cameras track asteroid target

Related Stories

Perfect sight: Rosetta cameras track asteroid target

August 18, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- On 14 August, Rosetta conducted a successful trajectory correction manoeuvre using data obtained from the Agency's first-ever optical tracking of an asteroid target, (2867) Steins. Images from the spacecraft's ...

Rosetta lines up for spectacular asteroid flyby

July 8, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- On 10 July, ESA's Rosetta will fly past 21 Lutetia, the largest asteroid ever visited by a satellite. After weeks of manoeuvres and a challenging optical navigation campaign, Rosetta is perfectly lined up ...

Dawn spacecraft begins new Vesta mapping orbit

October 3, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Dawn spacecraft has completed a gentle spiral into its new science orbit for an even closer view of the giant asteroid Vesta. Dawn began sending science data on Sept. 29 from this new orbit, known ...

Rosetta gets first glimpse of Deep Impact target

June 30, 2005

ESA’s Rosetta comet-chaser spacecraft has acquired its first view of the Deep Impact target, Comet 9P/Tempel 1. This first Rosetta image of the Deep Impact campaign was taken by its Navigation Camera (NAVCAM) between 08:45 ...

Mars Express acquires sharpest images of martian moon Phobos

July 30, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Mars Express closed in on the intriguing martian moon Phobos at 6:49 CEST on 23 July, flying past at 3 km/s, only 93 km from the moon. The ESA spacecraft’s fly-bys of the moon have returned its most detailed ...

Recommended for you

Orbital mayhem around a red dwarf

December 18, 2017

In the collective imagination, planets of a solar system all circle in the equatorial plane of their star. The star also spins, and its spin axis is aligned with the spin axes of the planetary orbits, giving the impression ...

Mars and Earth may not have been early neighbors

December 18, 2017

A study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters posits that Mars formed in what today is the Asteroid Belt, roughly one and a half times as far from the sun as its current position, before migrating to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.